Bowling master Dick Hoover made his start as a pin boy and rolled is first 300 game while still a teenager. Barely out of his teens, he won the National All-Star title, the youngest bowler ever to do so. In later years, Hoover was twice a member of the winning squad in the ABC Classic team event. His greatest accomplishment, however, came when he won back-to-back titles in the prestigious ABC Masters tournament in 1956-57. Hoover added the ABC Classic doubles crown with Glen Allison in 1962 and three times was named to bowling's All-American team. After the formation of the PBA, he won a tour event at Baltimore in 1962.
At Salem High where he led the state in scoring and was named to the 1927 All-Ohio team, Malcolm Rush had never played basketball prior to his senior year. At Bethany College where he earned varsity letters in five sports, he played all five sports the same year. Rush captained the football and basketball squads and was named to the All-State basketball team all four years he was in college. He also lettered in track, baseball, and tennis. He became a member of the Goodyear Wingfoots in the mid-1930s. During eight years on the squad, Goodyear brought home Midwest Conference and National Basketball Association titles.
Following a family tradition, James George became equally famed in weightlifting as his two brothers. He attended East High in Akron before a pre-medical course at Kent State and subsequently graduation from Ohio State U. His list of weightlifting accomplishments is almost endless: national collegiate champion, state champion, bronze and silver medal winner in the Olympics, member of 10 consecutive All-American teams, world record holder, and many more. George began competing in 1952 at the age of 17. In four years, he was the youngest member of the US Olympic team. After his silver medal in the 1960 Olympics, George continued to score high in international competition. He was fourth in the world meet at age 27.
Born in Madara, Pa., Chet O'Kelley came to Akron in 1928 and became enthralled with the exploits of two local all-time great boxers, Gorilla Jones and K.O. Christner. He started his ring career in 1929, losing five straight but then got going and won 27 in a row. As a lightweight boxer, O'Kelley fought 128 bouts, losing only 12, and had 18 knockouts in a career during the 1930s. He was named by Ring Magazine as Ohio's lightweight champ. In later years since his retirement, O'Kelley has operated gyms for young amateurs and turned out some fine boxers.
Baseball, Coach 1969
Baseball has been Hal Naragon's domain since childhood and the game took him from the sandlots of Barberton to three World Series. He caught for Barberton High in 1947 when the Magics were state runner-ups in the playoffs. After stints in the minors, Naragon was a member of the Cleveland Indians for eight seasons, including 1954 when they won the American League pennant. Retiring as an active player in 1962, he became catching coach for the Minnesota Twins, who captured the 1965 pennant. As a bullpen coach for the Tigers in 1968, Naragon figured in Detroit's capture of the American League pennant and the World Series victory against the St. Louis Cardinals.
As a player on the field and as a coach on the sidelines, Lou Juillerat was a football winner. He performed for Akron South High in 1932 and 1933. Juillerat moved on to Muskingum College where he played guard and tackle on the 1938 Ohio Conference championship team and was named All-Ohio in 1939. In 1948, he became South High's coach and proceeded to win the City Series titles in 1950 and 1951. From there Juillerat went to Baldwin-Wallace College and then to Troy High in Ohio where his teams ripped off 32 straight victories. Later at Findlay College, his team won the Mid-Ohio title. In 1963, he became coach and athletic director of Northwood Institute in Michigan where his teams won 23 and lost seven.
While a member of the Barberton High football team, which captured the 1947 Ohio championship, Bob Toneff was an all-state. At Notre Dame, he earned All-American honors at tackle, was a standout in the annual East-West Shrine Game and was named most valuable lineman in the College All-Star Game in Chicago and the Hula Bowl. Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, Toneff was named Rookie of the Year in 1952. He was a frequent member of the All-Pro squad for both San Francisco and the Washington Redskins during a 13-year career which ended with retirement in 1965
After a brilliant Akron Central High football career being named to the All-City team four times and All-Ohio honors in 1954, Don Clark broke into Ohio State's lineup as a sophomore. In his very first start, he scored on runs of 38 and 35 yards against Nebraska. Clark capped his stardom as Ohio State's top backfield threat by leading the Buckeyes to an undefeated season in 1957 and a Rose Bowl victory over Oregon and was rewarded with All-American status by virtually every wire service. He followed his collegiate efforts with a great pro career in Canada as a member of the Montreal Alouettes where he was an All-Pro choice and set a league record with a 106-yard touchdown run.